Knock Knock — Live-Tweeted Mystery “The Golden Parachute” Continues

Here are Week 136 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!

There’s only one way for me to find out. It’s a long shot but I have to take it. I say “What was the very first thing you ever said to me?”

Stuart says “How am I supposed to remember that?” I take out my cell phone and scroll to the beginning of my Twitter account. “Read this.”

Looking doubtful, Stuart reads “Knock knock?” and looks up at me. I seize the moment and reply “Who’s there?” “WILLUM GRANGER GODDAMNIT!”

“Willum Granger Goddamnit who?” “ME!” It IS Willum Granger! Regi whispers “Dad?” “Yes. It’s me.” “I don’t believe it. How are you alive?”

“It’s a complicated story.” “They all are. Dad had a birthmark on his butt shaped like Philadelphia. Prove who you are. Show me your butt.”

“My butt?” “Yes. We found the Philadelphia birthmark on the cadaver in my med school’s autopsy lab. Until I see yours, that’s my father.”

“As your father’s identical triplet, wouldn’t Stuart have the same birthmark?” “Triplets don’t have the same birthmarks or fingerprints.”

“How can they be identical triplets if they aren’t identical?” “They’re identical in appearance but not in everything.” “So, not identical.”

“Some twins are mirror images.” “Are their birthmarks also mirrored? Would they be like Philadelphia and Camden?” “It doesn’t work that way”

Stuart says “Good grief!” and pulls down his pants. The birthmark on his butt looks like the City of Brotherly Love. Maybe he isn’t Stuart.

“Regi says “It IS Philadelphia. OH MY GOD! DAD!?” “Are you sure? It looks like Houston.” Stuart/Willum says “It’s Philadelphia Goddamnit!”

Regi says “I never cared for Philadelphia.” “Camden’s not great either. What was your father’s connection?” “None. It was just a birthmark.”

“I may be sick!” “You’re a cop. Get a grip” “No thanks.” Willum pulls up his pants. Regi says “Dad. How can you be intact and be here?”

“Do you finally believe I am your father?” Regi hesitates and then goes over and hugs Willum. “Why didn’t you tell me?” “To keep you safe.”

I say “You are Willum in the flesh?” “I am.” “You faked your death and made A the fall guy?” “I did.” “You have super powers?” “I don’t.”

“No powers? Isn’t it true you rewrote all your DNA into palindromes?” “The reports of my DNA palindromage have been greatly exaggerated.”

“Both your wife and daughter have names that are the same backwards and forwards. How can you claim you’re not obsessed with palindromes?”

“Their names are palindromes? News to me.” “Rachel Lechar? Regna RG Granger?” “Now that you mention it.” “You deny it?” “Do geese see God?”

“That’s a palindrome too!” Willum shrugs. Regi says “Who cares? Dad, why did you fake your own death and hide from us all these years?”

“And why come out of hiding now?” “I didn’t know that Farley had been murdered.” “Vaporized.” “Yes vaporized.” “In his Safe Room.” “I KNOW!”

Willum turns to me “You knew. What gave me away?” “A couple of things. When I thought you were a ghost it made sense that you’d visit me.”

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Will the Real Willum Granger Please Stand Up? — Live-Tweeted Mystery “The Golden Parachute” Continues

angry animated GIF
Here are Week 135 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!

I was called to the scene of an apparent homicide. We ID’d the body as that of one Willum Granger who, when discovered, was beside himself.

That is, his top half was right next to his bottom. Shifting into detective mode, I never considered that we had the wrong body of evidence.

Now I wonder whose body was it? If he wasn’t in pieces on the pavement then maybe it he wasn’t put back together again at Regi’s med school.

According to his evil twin Farley, Willum used his cloning lab to swap every body organ with enhanced parts to confront for the Singularity.

Rejecting resistance, Farley hid in a safe room and died hideously. Not long after, a third twin brother returns miraculously from the dead.

It was Stuart, making the same claims of a Singularity paradigm shift that supposedly concerned Willum. In addition he was looking for Regi!

The truth hits me like a swift gut punch! Though misled all along by body double confusion, at the last I reach an inescapable conclusion.

If only I had a schilling for every time the truth hits me like that! “Tell me Stuart, why were you obsessed with bringing Regi back home?”

“I wasn’t obsessed.” “Yet you offered me $50K to find her. Regi, before you get upset let me say I would have taken the case for half that.”

Carefully studying Stuart’s face for possibly the first time, Regi gasps in horror and amazement. She says “Arkaby what are you suggesting?”

“I’d have found you for $25,000.” “I mean is Stuart who I think he is?” “Yes. All the evidence indicates Stuart is really Walter Pidgeon.”

We fall into a stunned silence to consider my revelation. Then Regi says “Wait. WHAT?” Stuart says “No Goddamnit! I’m not Walter Pidgeon!”

Regi says “Walter Pidgeon died years ago! How can he be Walter Pidgeon?” Stuart says “I’m Willum!” I say “He LOOKS like Walter Pidgeon!”

“That doesn’t make him Walter Pidgeon!” “It doesn’t NOT make him!” “LOTS of things not make him Walter Pidgeon!” Stuart says “I’m WILLUM!”

I say “Not things like what?” “Like Walter Pidgeon is not living!” “I’ll grant you that’s a problem. If he’s not Walter Pidgeon, who is he?”

Another stretch of silence. Finally I say “What was it you just said?” Stuart waits as if he expects to be interrupted. “I’m Willum” he says.

“Wait. WHAT?” “I’m Willum Granger.’ “No you’re not.” “Yes I am.” “You look like Walter Pidgeon.” He frowns. “Willum Granger died years ago!”

“I’m Willum!” “How can you be Willum Granger?” Regi says “He LOOKS like my dad” “That doesn’t make him your dad!” “It doesn’t not make him!”

“I’m WILLUM” “That’s ridiculous!” “More ridiculous that me being Walter Pidgeon?” I have to think about that. What cruel game is he playing?

It’s true Walter Pidgeon is dead so it’s unlikely he’s standing in my living room. However, I saw Granger’s body—split and later recombined.

Regi and I smuggled his unsevered body out of her Caribbean med school autopsy lab and off island. How could he be alive after all that?

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Monsters From the Id! — Live-Tweeted Mystery “The Golden Parachute” Continues

Here are Week 134 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!

I turn to Stuart. “There’s something you’re not telling us. Regi has an inkling, but she’s not sure. That’s why you two have been fighting.”

Regi says “What are you doing?” “Getting to the bottom of things.” “Why?” “That’s what we detectives do. We get to the bottom of things.”

Stuart edges towards the door. I say “What’s the hurry?” “No hurry but it’s quite late and…” “Why don’t you tell Regi who you really are?”

Regi says “I hope to God you know what you’re doing.” I don’t respond but continue staring at the individual who calls himself ‘Stuart.’

He says “I haven’t the slightest idea what you’re talking about.” Regi says “What the point of confronting him now? Why are you doing this?”

“Because, my own true love, I’ve got to keep track of all this dizzy affair’s loose ends if I’m ever going to make heads or tails of it.”

“I’d have deduced the truth about him when he first materialized had his resemblance to Willum Granger not thrown me off the scent.”

He says “Ha! That I doubt!” Undaunted I continue “I convinced myself you were Granger’s ghost come seeking vengeance from beyond the grave.”

“Maybe my visitor was a Granger clone, assembled with the parts left over from his ill-advised self-enhancement.” Stuart snorts derisively.

“I wasn’t fooled. I’d always thought Willum resembled a dopey-looking Walter Pigeon, especially as he appeared in Forbidden Planet (1952).”

Regi says “You’re drifting off target. What does a Sci-Fi flick about a destructive mind enhancing super machine have to do with my father?”

“The truth was in front of me from the beginning, like the Krell Machine in Forbidden Planet. Also, your father looked like Walter Pidgeon.”

“You really think he resembled Walter Pidgeon?” I held up my phone “Decide yourself. Here’s a sketch of your father:”

Regi studies the image “My father looks like Stuart.” Stuart says “We’re twins!” I swipe the image. “Here’s Pidgeon:”
The photo shows a movie scene of Pidgeon standing next to Robby the Robot. “That’s a robot!” “No. The guy next to the robot.” “Oh. Yeah.”

“Walter Pidgeon does look like my father. And you too Uncle.” She shows my phone photo to Stuart. He says “I don’t see any resemblance.”

Regi hands me back my phone “What does it matter who my father looked like? He’s dead!” “I believe Stuart isn’t who he says he is.” “Huh?”

“He’s misled us from the beginning!” “Mislead us how?” “”Look at the evidence. You don’t hear from Stuart for years. You think he is dead.”

“Then your father is brutally murdered under puzzling circumstances.” “Puzzling?” “In the sense that he was cut into pieces.” “Not funny.”

“Exactly. Just gruesome enough that we wouldn’t pay attention while A performed the autopsy.” “A murdered my father!” “He thought he did.”

“It always seemed to me too complicated and fantastic for A to murder Granger with fast-dissolving sutures and the Call to Post ring tone.”

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Playing Square — Live-Tweeted Mystery “The Golden Parachute” Continues

cartoon animated GIF Here are Week 133 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!

Here it is: “‘Didn’t you use fast-dissolving sutures around his middle to close him up?’ ‘No.'” That can’t be right! I check the next tweet.

I asked A “Then didn’t you change his cell ringtone to ‘Call to Post?’ A answered ‘Ridiculous!’ when he once had bragged about the murder.

Now Stuart suggests A wasn’t the proximate cause of Willum’s death. If this is true, A is innocent, though still guilty of attempted murder.

I say to Regi “Is this is why you hit him?” “This jerk comes from nowhere, plays you for a fool and trashes my dad’s killer’s conviction.”

“He didn’t play me for a fool.” “Yes he did.” Stuart says “Forest for the trees. AI computer for the microchips. Focus on what’s important!”

“The Singularity is a glorious golden falcon encrusted from head to feet with the finest jewels which has acquired a coat of black enamel.”

“To the typical observer it looks like nothing more than a statuesque black supercomputer.” “In one box?” “Hence ‘Singularity’.” “I don’t…”

“In that disguise it has, you might say, kicked around for a score of years by private owners too stupid to see what it was under the skin.”

“Are you saying the entire Singularity resides in a single computer system?” “You begin to believe me a little?” “I haven’t said I didn’t.”

“Haven’t said I did either.” Regi says “Well I don’t! You’re being too literal with the word ‘Singularity.’ It doesn’t mean a single thing!”

Stuart closes his eyes and smiles complacently at inner thoughts. “The Singularity may well encompass the entire World Wide Web. However…”

Regi says “If the AI is already in the cloud then we’re too late.” Stuart takes a sip of coffee, pats his mouth with a napkin. “Maybe not.”

“If our great black bird of a Singularity indeed took flight, we have only to find the right fowl hunter.” Stuart and Regi look over at me.

I double take. “Who, me?” They continue to stare. “That isn’t fair! What do I know about computers?” “Fair is fowl and fowl is fair game”

“Fair is foul? What does that even mean?” “If the AI does indeed reside in a single server we may have an opportunity to nip it in the bud.”

“Confronting a Web-based AI is nipping it in the bud? If the Singularity is duplicitous I’ll never find out by giving it the third degree.”

Regi says “Arkaby, I’ve never seen you hesitate on a case. Do you believe Stuart’s cock and bull story about an AI taking over the world?”

“Some one or thing killed Farley. I don’t care about Stuart’s Singularity. I intend to find out who or what did it.” “Where will we start?”

“That all depends on Stuart, whether he’s ready to come clean with us.” Stuart double takes. “Who, me?” Regi and I stare. “That isn’t fair!”

Stuart stands up “You accuse me of lying?” “I do. You’ve never played square with me for half an hour at a stretch since I’ve known you!”

Regi says “What makes you suspicious of Stuart?” “Did you just miss the ‘never playing square with me for half an hour at a stretch’ part?”

The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery

Less is Moore — Live-Tweeted Mystery “The Golden Parachute” Continues

Here are Week 132 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!

Regi and Stuart look embarrassed. They say “We’re sorry!” A thought occurs to me. I say “Stuart, you don’t know what you’re doing, do you?

“You fumble along by guess and by God. You trick me into finding Regi on pretext of probing your paradigm shift.” “I didn’t need finding!”

“And yet I found you.” Regi frowns. “Now I find MYSELF accused of murder, confronting a triplicate of Willum Granger who shouldn’t exist.”

“Now what’s this all about?” “Suppose I wouldn’t tell you anything at all about it? What would you do? Something wild and unpredictable?”

“Yes. Wild and unpredictable is my middle name.” “You have a middle name?” “Yes.” Regi glances at Stuart who stares stoicly at the floor.

“Well? I’m listening.” Regi wriggles a finger at the clock. “Look at the time! I must go!” I shook my head “Not until you tell me about it.”

Regi says “You’re the most insistent person.” “Yes. And wild and unpredictable. What’s the mystery you and Stuart are all steamed up about?”

“Moore’s Law.” “You’re arguing philosophy?” “What?” “Moore’s Law says you can make two logical statements which, taken together,are absurd.”

“WHAT are you talking about?” “Like if you say it’s raining, but I don’t believe that it is raining. Moore’s Law!” “That’s not Moore’s Law!”

“Sure it is.” “GE Moore?” “Yes GE.” Stuart says “Moore’s Law is about transistors doubling every two years increasing computer capabilities”

“No it isn’t.” “You mean Moore’s Paradox.” “He had a paradox too?” “Different Moore.” “More different?” “G Earle Moore, not G Edward Moore.”

“There’s more than one Moore?” “Many Moores.” “How many, more or less?” “Just Moore. We were discussing Moore’s Law not Moore’s Paradox.”

“What’s the difference?” “Moore’s Law is how computers to reach human level intellect. Moore’s Paradox determines that this has happened.”

“I don’t get it.” “Simple. Gordon EARLE Moore predicted the density of transistors, hence computer powers, doubles every two years.” “OK.”

“Why were you fighting over transistors?” “The question is, when does this doubling allow human-level intelligence and self-awareness?”

“How would you know?” “My brother Willum believed the Singularity was on the horizon and genetically modified his body to meet it head on.”

“Yes but how would you know?” “My other brother Farley believed the Singularity is upon us and all we can do about it is hide off the grid.”

“You said doubling transistors allows artificial intelligence. How would you know it had happened?” “My proof is my brothers are both dead.”

“A himself told me he killed Willum!” “Did he? If you wanted to kill someone, would you use fast dissolving sutures and a race track tune?”

Didn’t A admit he killed Willum? I scroll back to our conversation in the holding cell just yesterday. It seems like it happened months ago!

I find the place on Twitter where A admitted his guilt. No, that’s where I found it last time I searched on Twitter. I keep scrolling.

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No Throwing Snack Foods! — Live-Tweeted Mystery “The Golden Parachute” Continues

the blues brothers animated GIF Here are Week 131 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!

“You’re being kidded. When the bell rang, I said ‘It’s those bulls again. They’re getting to be nuisances. Let’s play a joke on them.'”

“‘While I talk to them, one of you scream and we’ll see how far we string them along until they tumble.'” Haring says “Sounds reasonable.”

Regi bends forward in her chair and laughs hysterically. Stuart starts and then smiles. Rixey frowns at Haring and says “Cut it out Arkaby.”

Haring says “Where’d the tomato sauce on his head come from?” “Um. The Hot Pocket Regi humorously threw at him.” Stuart says “Yes. In fun.”

“Horse feathers!” “Don’t be a sap, Haring. That’s our story and we’ll stick to it. What are you going to do? It’s no crime to kid a copper.”

Haring spins on his heel. His fist clicks on my chin. I steady myself with a backward step. Before my fist comes up Rixey pushes between us.

He pleads “No Haring for Christ’s sake!” I say “Then get him out of here quick!” Haring stands with his fists clenched in front of his body.

Haring says “Get their names and addresses.” I’ve had enough. I say “We all live here. You have the address.” He indicates Stuart “Him too?”

“He sleeps on the couch.” “Where does she sleep?” “Rixey get him OUT!” He turns to Regi “You sure you won’t swear a warrant against Arkaby?”

Regi says “Huh?” “You say the word and we’ll drop him back in the slammer.” “What are you talking about? I just got him out!” “So no?” “NO!”

Rixey walks to the door with Haring on his heel. “I hope you know what you’re doing, Arkaby.” “Don’t worry about that Rixey. I don’t.”

I follow the cops out and watch them get in their car. Before driving off Rixey says “I’m still nailing you for the Farley Granger murder.”

“As Bob Dylan sang ‘A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.'” Haring says “That was Emerson, not Dylan.” “Emerson?” “Yes.”

I re-enter humming Rainy Day Women. Regi says “You’re absolutely the wildest person I’ve ever known. Do you always carry on so high-handed?”

I sit on the edge of the sofa, cursing Rixey and Haring for five minutes without break, cursing obscenely, blasphemously, repetitiously.

Regi says “I’ve never seen you so upset.” “Childish, huh? I know, but, by God, I do hate being hit without hitting back.” “Since when?”

“A cheap enough price to pay for winning” I touch my chin with careful fingers “though I’ll remember it.” Stuart says “You let him hit you?”

“Slugging me Haring overplayed his hand. If I’d mixed it up with him we’d be telling our goofy story downtown.” “Sure. We’ll go with that.”

I say to Regi “You’ve had a talk with Stuart. Now you can talk to me. What did you do?” “Nothing.” “He screamed for the cops for nothing?”

“I tried to frighten him into keeping still ’til they had gone and he overreacted.” Stuart says “Don’t forget she hit me with a Hot Pocket!”

“I had to! He attacked me with a Totino!” “She’s lying!” “OK. New rule: No throwing snack foods at each other. Can you two live with that?”

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Darn That Pesky Gutenberg! — Live-Tweeted Mystery “The Golden Parachute” Continues

Here are Week 130 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!

Stuart takes his red-smeared hand from his head. “This is what she has done. Look at it!” His forehead shows a three-inch ragged burn.

Haring says “Did you do that?” Regi says “You just saw it. Better his head than your stomach!’ She tries to kick Stuart. “Behave, sister!”

“That’s no way to act!” Rixey says “Well don’t guess we’ll go wrong pulling the lot of them in.” I move to the center of the room, smiling.

“Don’t be in a hurry, boys. Everything can be explained.” Haring sneers “I bet.” “Regi, you know Detective Sergeant Rixey.” “Sure. Hi Rix.”

“This is Lieutenant Haring.” “Hi Har.” “Ing.” “Lieutenant Ing?” “No! Har-ing!” “Oh.” “Miss Granger is an operative in my employ.” “Uh huh.”

“Operative? Is that what we’re calling it now?” Stuart says “That isn’t so! She” I say “I hired her yesterday. THIS is not Farley Granger.”

Rixey says “I gathered that. Who is he?” “This is Mr. Stuart Granger, a triplicate brother of Farley and Willum Granger.” “Another Granger?”

“He came to my office to hire me to find Regi and stop a paradigm shift. It looked funny the way he put it to me so I wouldn’t touch it.”

“How funny?” “At first I thought I was seeing a ghost. Now it appears Stuart was impersonating his dead brother Willum to make a point.”

Anxiety comes into Stuart’s tomato sauce-stained face. His eyes move up and down, shifting their focus between the floor and my bland face.

“I thought he was concerned for Regi’s safety–well, never mind that unless it comes to the point of laying charges against each other.”

Regi says “What do you mean ‘never mind that’?” “I decided he was a vision brought on by an undigested bit of beef. Then he offered to pay.”

Regi repeats “What do you MEAN ‘never mind that’?” “I took the case after ascertaining that he wasn’t a zombie or a Body Parts R Us clone.”

Rixey smirks “Ascertaining?” “He neglected to tell me he was a triplet or that he was maneuvering me into confronting the Singularity.”

Haring turns to Stuart. “Well, what have you to say to that?” “I don’t know what to say.” “Try the facts.” “The facts?” “Quit stalling!”

Rixey says “All you gotta do is swear a complaint they took a poke at you and we’ll throw them both back into the can.” Regi says “What?”

I say “Go on Granger. Do it. Then we’ll swear a complaint against you and he’ll have the lot of us.” Stuart looks nervously around the room.

Haring says “Get your hats!” I say “Don’t you know when you’re being kidded?” “No, but we’ll let that wait till we get down to the station.”

Regi says “I don’t have a hat.” Stuart says “I never wear them.” I say “I dare you to take us in. We’ll laugh at you in every newspaper.”

Rixey guffaws. I’m confused. He says “Nobody reads newspapers anymore. They go online.” “To newspaper sites.” “Which are behind paywalls.”

“People get news in tweets, not column inches.” “Wake up Rixey. I can tweet with the best of them.” “Yes. You are just shy of a flock.”

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The Maltese Hot Pocket — Live-Tweeted Mystery “The Golden Parachute” Continues

Here are Week 129 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!

He places his hand on my chest. “Come off it Arkaby.” I brace against his hand and grin Sam Spade-like. “Going to strong-arm me, Rixey?”

Rixey grumbles “Be reasonable, Arkaby!” Rixey’s associate says “It’d pay you to play along with us a little.” I look at him closely.

“Your name’s Haring, right?” “You got away with this and you got away with that but you can’t keep it up forever.” “Stop me when you can.”

“That’s what I intend to do!” He thrusts his hard face up towards mine. “There’s talk going around about you and Granger’s niece, Regi.”

“Anything to it?” “Not anything.” “There’s even talk that Granger shot at you but hit her and so you put him on the spot. Anything to that?”

“Don’t be a hog, Haring. Rixey’s theory that I had the motive, the means and the opportunity to liquidate Farley Granger doesn’t hold water.”

“I didn’t kill him.” Haring says “You haven’t heard me say you killed anybody. You brought it up.” “Did I? I can be pretty hard of Haring.”

“Haven’t you anything better to do than popping in here with a lot of fool questions?” Haring says “And get lying answers!” “Take it easy…”

Haring looks me straight in the eye. “If you say there’s nothing between you and Regi Granger, you’re a liar and I’m telling you so!”

“Is that the hot tip that brought you here at this ungodly time of night?” “One of them” “And the other?” “Let us in!” I shake my head.

Haring buttons his coat. “All right, Arkaby. Maybe you’re right bucking us. Think it over.” From inside Stuart Granger yells “Help! Police!”

We hear sounds of a brief struggle, of a blow and a subdued cry. Rixey says “I guess we’re going in!” “I guess you are.” They push past me.

Regi Granger huddles in an armchair, her arms over her face. Her eyes are white-circled, terrified. Stuart Granger is nowhere to be seen.

Haring moves swiftly to Regi’s side, grabs her wrist. He asks “What are you up to here?” She says “I tried to stop him! He wouldn’t listen!”

“Stop who?” She looks at me with appealing eyes. I don’t respond, leaning against the door with the detached air of a disinterested witness.

Haring says “Stop who?” “I had to. I was all alone in here with him. I had no choice!” Haring repeats “STOP WHO?” Rixey says “Take it easy.”

Before Regi can explain what happened, the kitchen door swings open and Stuart Granger comes out carrying a tray laden with Hot Pockets.

Placing the tray on the coffee table, Stuart asks “Who’s hungry? Coffee coming.” The cops stand speechless, though for different reasons.

Regi says “I begged him not to heat up Hot Pockets!” Stuart says “Oh, you dirty, filthy liar!.” “Make him tell the truth — why don’t you?”

Rixey stares a moment and then finds his voice “You-you’re dead!” Haring says “He is if he eats that stuff!” Stuart says “But it’s vegan!”

“Here’s your vegan!” Regi hurls a Hot Pocket at Stuart who claps a hand to his head. Red sauce runs through his fingers, down into his eyes.

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Becoming Less Human — Live-Tweeted Mystery “The Golden Parachute” Continues

Here are Week 128 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!

I open my eyes. I’m still in the dark. I say “Where am I?” I hear Regi say “You are on the floor with your jacket pulled over your head.”

I pull my jacket down. Regi and her uncle Stuart stand over me. It was all a dream! I never spoke to the Body Part R Us IVR phone system!

Regi helps me up. As I retie my tie she asks “Why did you undress and go into defense mode?” “I heard you struggling and then you screamed.”

I glance at Stuart. “What happened? Did he attack you?” “No. I was showing him this dance move and he stepped on my foot.” “Seriously?”

Stuart says “I’ve got two left feet.” “TWO left feet? Did you get your feet replaced at Body Parts R Us?” “No! Why would you think that?”

“During cloning surgery Body Parts R Us doctors inadvertently swapped Willum’s left and right brain hemispheres.” “It’s just an expression.”

“They didn’t trip up cloning you?” “Why would I clone my feet?” “Your brother was a cloning freak.” “So I am too?” “If the shoe doesn’t fit”

Stuart says “I don’t support cloning. Some things we shouldn’t to meddle with.” “And yet Willum cloned himself to fight the Singularity.”

Stuart frowns “Cloning didn’t work out well for Willum.” “Only because his doctor sabotaged his surgery, for completely unrelated reasons.”

Regi says “Can super powers stop the Singularity?” Stuart says “There is an inconsistency with saving humanity by becoming less human.”

I say “I have one question. What dance move were you showing Stuart that looks like mortal combat?” After a pause, Regi shows me the move.

She dips and slides. She twists to the left. Pretty cool moves! She hops. She lifts her leg ballerina-like. She comes down on Stuart’s foot.

He shrieks “Yeaaah! You did it again!” Like a swift gut punch I realize the truth. I say “Stuart, it was you who screamed before not Regi.”

“So, you can find something, sometime. ” Stuart limps to the sofa. Regi says “Sorry. I was in the moment.” “No, you were on my foot…again!”

Now I’m confused. Regi and Stuart were dancing? That makes no sense! I say “I sprang to your defense because I thought Stuart attacked you.”

Stuart stands up, winces and sits back down. “Attack Regi? Why would I do that?” “It appears you stepped on each other’s feet.” They nod.

“You two have acted strangely since this began. What’s really going on?” They exchange glances and say “Nothing. We were just dancing.”

The front doorbell rings. Stuart says “Who’s that? Send them away!” Regi says “Are you expecting anyone?’ “Just keep quiet. I’ll go see.”

I look through the peep hole, open the door. Rixey and another cop stand there. “Hello. You guys pick swell hours to do your visiting in.”

“What is it this time?” “We got a complaint of screaming.” “Since when do you go out on 10-16 calls?” “Since I saw it was your address.”

Rixey continues “We want to talk to you, Arkaby.” “Go ahead and talk.” “We don’t have to do it out here, do we?” “You can’t come in.”

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Interactive Voice Response in the Dark — Live-Tweeted Mystery “The Golden Parachute” Continues

Here are Week 127 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!

There’s a place you go in your mind at times like these. You don’t know what’s going on in your living room. You don’t know what to expect.

Anticipating possibilities, I turn sideways to shrink my target area. I shift to my heels and bend my knees to lower my center of gravity.

Without taking my eyes off the room, I remove my jacket which I wrap around my left arm and my necktie which I wind around my right fist.

I just put on my jacket and tie! Oh well. I’m ready, certain I’ll withstand a gun blast, knife stab, a fistfight, jujitsu or anything else.

As I think about that I realize I haven’t tied my shoelaces. Regi shrieks. Times up! Springing into action I trip headfirst down the stairs.

I try to grab the banister but my tie-wrapped hand can’t get a purchase. I try to shield my fall but my other arm is pinned under my jacket.

There’s not much time for reflection. I had put faith in defensive rituals. Now I plunge headfirst down my stairs. I’m not ready for that.

Regi yells “For God’s sake Arkaby, drop your damn phone!” No time for that. A dark pool awaits me at the bottom of the stairs. I dive in.

Down, down into a darkness far deeper than the blackest night. It has no bottom. I don’t remember this being here when I bought this house.

A black pool, but somehow familiar. I consult Twitter, going back to the beginning. “Black pool at my feet. I dive in.” I HAVE been here!

If I had a shilling for every dive! It can’t healthy to be so often in the dark. I’d check my pulse, but in the dark I can’t find my wrist.

Last time I was here I thought I was finished. I accepted my fate and waited for the bright light to lead me to my final destination.

That’s not the case this time. I’m probably resting at the foot of my stairs, my head cradled in Regi’s lap as she and Stuart revive me.

When I wake my tongue will be parched like it crossed the Sahara barefoot and my head will burn like the Hindenburg exploding. So I hear.

One question: How am I tweeting? From deep in the dark I hear a voice. “Arkaby wake up!” “Lemme sleep Ma. I’ll look for a job tomorrow.”

I slip back down into darkness. “Arkaby!” My phone chimes. “Hello?” “You have reached Body Parts R Us. Press 1 for Farley Granger’s killer.”

“Huh?” “Press 2 to discover how he was killed. Press 3 to find out why.” I press 1. “OK. I’ll connect you with the killer. Please hold.”

“Wait!” Music plays. What the hell? Torn Between Two Lovers? After what seems an eternity the music cuts off and a voice comes on the line.

“¡Bienvenido a Partes Del Cuerpo R Nosotros!” Oh no! That damn IVR again! “Pulse 1 si se conoce el órgano o miembro que desee reemplazar.”

That robotic sonofabitch has really gotten under my skin! Not only am I dreaming about interactive voice response, I’m dreaming in Spanish!
I shout “I don’t want to replace a body part! I want to find Farley Granger’s killer!” “Please hold.” Torn Between Two Lovers comes back on.

The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery !